”Operational benefits have exceeded all expectations from Blackpool Transport, following Ticketer’s largest deployment of their new Handheld ticketing device with one single operator to date”
Bus and tram operator Blackpool Transport has, in cooperation with Ticketer, an innovative transit and data intelligence partner, rolled out the brand new Ticketer Handheld devices across its full fleet of modern light trams, after a successful deployment of Ticketer Electronic Ticket Machines (ETMs) on their buses.
Blackpool as a destination sees over 16 million visitors annually and offering an integrated ticketing solution across both tram and buses is vital to the operator. The Ticketer teams have worked in close collaboration with Blackpool Transport to deploy a product that is suitable for their specific use case and operational needs.
The new Ticketer Handhelds, with full ticketing capabilities, can take ITSO cards, contactless EMV bank cards, cash and scan QR Codes. With a very compact form factor, the lightweight device has proven to be highly reliable, and its increased battery life allows conductors to focus on assisting customers and collecting revenue.
With the new contactless payments solution in place Blackpool Transport has seen a drastic shift, with over 50% of their customers choosing to pay with their bank cards in the first two weeks of launch. This is a trend they anticipate will grow across 2022, accounting for around 70% of all onboard fares by the end of the year. The contactless capabilities also make transaction times much faster, leading to increased revenue collection at peak times.
Battery life has been another essential feature for the operator, and one full charge of the new Ticketer handheld provides enough capacity to cover an entire shift, meaning minimal downtime and disruption to customers. Conductor duties can now be completed without any changeovers or disruption in serving customers. Blackpool Transport have seen an overall conductor productivity increase of 30% since the launch of the new ticketing machines.
Data collection is a further key benefit Blackpool Transport have experienced since the roll out. They are now able to determine the age group of their customers, calculate the profitability of multi-use tickets, as well as the number of times a ticket is used.
For customers, especially visitors to the resort, who often want to make a journey with minimal fuss, the flexibility brought by the numerous payment options on-board makes purchasing tickets easy and hassle free. International travellers are also no longer restricted to only use the public transport network if they carry local currency, but can freely hop on a local service and pay for their ticket using a contactless bank card.
Jane Cole, Managing Director at Blackpool Transport says: “Being able to offer contactless payments to our millions of tramway customers is a huge step forward in allowing us to remain innovative and provide the solutions that our customers want. Customers enjoy the increased boarding speed and ease of purchase, and the new machines bring a lot of benefits for our conductors, as well as improving our access to data and insights.”
Antonio Carmona, General Manager UK and International at Ticketer Group, comments: “Following the successful rollout of Ticketer ETMs across Blackpool buses, we are delighted to see how with the Ticketer handhelds are opening new payment options for tram passengers, and revenue collection is simpler and easier for Blackpool Transport.”